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Thursday 02/09/2017
Reducing risks while taking care of business: Tips to avoid distracted driving
Updated: February 17, 2017 - 1:32 am

(BPT) - The pace of business never seems to stop, and thanks to the convenience of cell phones, many people work on the go, even while they’re driving. Yet cell phone use is one of the most common type of distracted driving, and it claims thousands of lives and causes thousands more injuries every year.

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Wednesday 02/08/2017
Top reasons to love Titus Mountain
Posted: February 08, 2017

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7 steps to secure your home while you're on vacation
Updated: February 16, 2017 - 1:32 am

(BPT) - Warmer temperatures, budding trees and blooming flowers are all lovely parts of spring, but what you really look forward to is the start of vacation planning season! Deciding where to go and what to see, making arrangements and planning your wardrobe are all exciting aspects of summer vacation planning. But before you pack up to leave on your getaway, be sure to take care of the most important asset you’ll be leaving at home — your home itself.

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How to plan a successful spring getaway
Updated: February 09, 2017 - 1:33 am

(BPT) - No matter where you live, spring travel is synonymous with the search for warm weather. While the sunshine may help keep the blues at bay, it takes more than just golden rays to make a trip unforgettable.

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Tuesday 02/07/2017
6 ways to save money on your spring road trip
Posted: February 07, 2017

(BPT) - With the thermometer hovering around freezing and snow still on the ground, it may not feel like it now, but spring is fast approaching. It will soon be time to step outside the house, enjoy the warmer weather and take that vacation you’ve been planning for months. Yes, it’s time for a spring road trip.

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Monday 02/06/2017
5 reasons ridesharing is on the rise
Updated: February 14, 2017 - 1:32 am

(BPT) - The rideshare industry has exploded in popularity over the past several years, with companies devoted to making transportation safe, reliable and enjoyable. At the swipe of a finger and tap of a button, you can hail a car through your smartphone. Within minutes, you are picked up at your desired location and whisked off to your final destination, whether it’s the grocery store, movie theater or the hottest restaurant in town.

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Friday 01/27/2017
5 family-friendly cities you should visit in 2017
Updated: January 28, 2017 - 1:32 am

(BPT) - Family vacations are as unique as the families that enjoy them. If your family vacations in 2016 involved returning to the same destinations again and again, 2017 is a great time to take embrace the weekend, step away from the traditional and explore a new city. So grab your family, pack your bags and plan your next family vacation around the activities available in any of these five family-friendly cities.

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Monday 01/23/2017
Discover the magic of winter
Updated: January 24, 2017 - 1:32 am

(BPT) - Were you lucky enough to grow up making snow angels? Did you spend the better part of a day building a snow fort or rolling up a snowman? If you have fond memories of playing in the snow, but for some reason haven’t put on insulated pants or boots in a long time, then it’s time to rediscover winter.

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Tuesday 01/17/2017
Great Winter Getaway Tips
Updated: January 18, 2017 - 1:31 am

(StatePoint) If you think winter is a great time to get out of town, you are not alone. More than 65 percent of respondents in a recent TripAdvisor survey said they were planning leisure travel for winter. And it’s no surprise that the same survey found the majority of destinations to be in warm weather locales.

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9 life-changing experiences on Western Australia's Coral Coast
Posted: January 17, 2017

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Bea Ahbeck/News-Sentinel
BEA AHBECK/NEWS-SENTINEL Salmon fry swim in their bucket as fifth grade students from Heritage Elementary get ready to release them at Lake Camanche Fish Hatchery Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017.

Fifth-grade students from Heritage Elementary School crowded around a large bucket. Behind them, water from Camanche Reservoir rushed into the Mokelumne River and downstream, but the students weren’t looking at the river. Their eyes were on the bucket.

They were trying to count how many little salmon fry were swimming around in the bucket.

“We keep telling them to hold still, but they won’t,” teacher Janine Jacinto joked.

The students had received a few dozen salmon eggs 31 days earlier. A tank on loan from the Delta Fly Fishers housed the eggs until they hatched and the little salmon grew to “fry,” or juvenile, stage.

Now, the students were saying goodbye to their scaled friends.

First, they found a quiet area along the edge of the river, shady and protected from the fast flows from Camanche. Then, a few students grabbed some trash that littered the river’s edge and ran back to the dumpster in the parking lot.

Finally, it was time for the little fish to enter their new home.

Kathy Grant, watershed education program coordinator for the City of Lodi, and Jacinto picked up the buckets. The kids crowded around.

“They’re doing it! They’re doing it!”

“I can’t see!”

“I’m too short!”

Soon, the salmon were swimming away, but the students had little time to miss their fish. They were headed on a quick hike up to the Mokelumne River Fish Hatchery.

At the hatchery, they met manager Darrick Baker. He quizzed the kids on the salmon life cycle — “You guys did your research,” he said when they knew most of the answers.

Salmon prefer to lay their eggs in their home stream, Baker said. In California, where dams have made it difficult for them to get “back home,” fish ladders open up a route.

That doesn’t mean they won’t lay their eggs anywhere else, though. Sometimes, if the flows from one area are strong, the faster, cooler water leads more salmon up that river instead, Baker said.

“How many chinook salmon do you think we’ve raised at this facility?” he asked the students.

They guessed 100,000. Then 500,000. Then 1 million.

Finally, Baker gave them the answer: The Mokelumne River Fish Hatchery raises 5 million salmon every year.

The baby salmon raised there are released downstream, where they head for the ocean. They’ll spend six to eight months in the estuaries — brackish water in the California Delta — and then head out to sea. The salmon from the Mokelumne head to ocean waters off Washington, British Columbia and Alaska.

They return to the Mokelumne when they’re ready to reproduce.

After the quick lesson, Baker led the students on a tour of the tanks that held salmon, steelhead and rainbow trout — about 15,000 fish each.

The kids were able to feed some hungry fish.

Though Lodi students have visited the hatchery before, this is the first year Jacinto’s class has helped raise fish to add to the river.

In order to raise salmon in the classroom, teachers must attend a workshop conducted by the Department of Fish and Wildlife held at the San Joaquin County Office of Education.

“I went to the training, and then we got the salmon eggs,” Jacinto said.

The tank was provided by the Delta Fly Fishers. The group enjoys helping classes throughout Lodi and Stockton learn more about fish.

“We’re trying to increase the number of tanks every year,” member Jerry Neuburger said.

Teachers who are interested in the program can contact Neuburger at gneuburg@gmail.com for information about working with the Delta Fly Fishers, or Connie Bock at cbock@sjcoe.net for information about training at the San Joaquin County Office of Education.

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